Keith Jarrett: The Köln Concert: Part I


The Köln Concert: Part I


Keith Jarrett (piano)


The Köln Concert (ECM 810 067-2)

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Keith Jarrett (piano).

Composed by Keith Jarrett


Recorded: Köln, Germany, January 24, 1975


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Have you seen the YouTube clip of Keith Jarrett haranguing yet another of his audiences, in this case at Umbria in 2007 and for the minor infraction of daring to take his picture with their flashing little cameras? It is cringe-inducing just to view the video. I can't imagine being a member of that audience who has paid for a ticket and then has to be dressed-down like that. It is extremely rude. On the other hand, I think if I attended a show and Keith was perfectly behaved I would feel cheated in some bizarre way.

"Part I" is part one of a masterpiece of improvisation that took place in Köln, Germany. Any description of this music that does not contain the word "inspired" is a lie. Those people who complain about Jarrett's random vocalizations can go to hell. They are as much a part of his technique as are his hands. This composition, improvisation really, engages the mind and the spirit from the first note to the last. There is not much more that you could say about it.

In my own experience I have found most artists to be lacking in some other area of life. This could exhibit itself as a lack of common sense or business savvy, an inability to clean his or her house, balance a checkbook or maybe they can't chew with their mouth closed. Nature always seems to find a balance. It giveth and taketh away. It certainly blessed Keith Jarrett with a musical mind that is second to none. But nature decided to withhold couth from Keith. The result is that he can be an asshole to his own fans. I'll take the tradeoff.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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